Last week was the final installment of my series ‘Ten Things of Thankful – Meet the Co-Hosts’, and we wrapped up with a gorgeous interview with the wonderful Kristi – thank you for your awesome interview; you truly are Super K.
Which means that this week it’s my turn.
By way of
bribing enticing convincing my co-hosts to join in nicely (didn’t they, though – it’s been such fun) I told them from the offset that they would have the chance to retaliate reciprocate by devising a few questions each for me, should they so wish. They absolutely and utterly rose to the occasion.
1. If Noah (from the ark) got a tattoo, what would it be and why? (I did check that Christine really meant this question, and yes, she did, because it’s a question she’s never heard answered before…which is as good a reason as any)
Noah must’ve had it extremely rough – not only was he tasked with building a boat and looking after all those animals for an indefinite amount of time, he also had ONLY HIS FAMILY LEFT at the end of the story! I think he’d either have a ‘tramp stamp’ of that rainbow, undermarked with the words ‘Never Again’, or he’d go the extreme route and have an incredibly painful etching on the palms of his hands bearing the inscriptions “NO!” and “I SAID NO!” (ready for the next ask of a small favour, yaknow).
2. If you could be invisible for one month, what would you do?
This is my absolute favourite super-power, and the one I always pick over and above super-strength, flying, laser eyes or anything else. I *love* playing practical jokes on people and if this power were granted, I would have the MOST AMAZING month sneaking up on people and making them jump, moving objects into unexpected places, setting traps – SO much fun. And I’d have to have an invisible video camera too, so that I could record all the moments and then make a mint off You’ve Been Framed.
3. What is your biggest/best/favourite childhood injury?
I was never injured that badly, though the local Accident & Emergency had my name on file for a few years because of such frequent visits for minor scrapes. The story I get most mileage out of is the one where I tried breaking in my new shoes. They were green and white Gola tennis shoes, and I loved them. I thought they were the most beautiful footwear I’d ever been allowed. I was playing in the garden and saw an old plank sticking out from under the shed with a giant, rusty nail poking up from the end. I thought about how awesome it would be to hop lightly up and balance on the tip of that nail for a few seconds before alighting gracefully on the grass.
(you can see this one coming a mile off, can’tcha?)
So I hopped.
And, quite predictably, the nail went straight through the sole of my new, flimsy shoes, and into my foot. I hopped off, bawling, and went to find WonderAunty, who’d been left in charge of me, my sister and (apparently) my lack of understanding of simple physics. She panicked and drove me (still panicking) to find my Dad, who drove me (angrily) to the hospital to get an X-ray and a tetanus shot. I was excited – I got to ride in a wheelchair, and it didn’t hurt that badly by the time we were ready to leave, so once we got to the exit, I jumped out of the wheelchair eagerly and, upon landing, realised that it actually hurt quite a reallyverybiglot.
I can’t remember whether I had to walk back to the car or not, though 😉
1. Are you ticklish, and if so where? And why can’t you tickle yourself?
Many people have tried to tickle me, and most have failed. My sister and I used to practice tickling each other and resisting the tickle and I’ve learned not to let it get me, so all of the regular tickle places (under the chin, ribs, tummy, soles of feet) have their ‘tickle button’ turned off. That said, on the very odd occasion I can be sent squirming rapidly away by the application of a very light, gentle run of a fingertip down the inside of my forearm between the nook of my elbow and my wrist.
Scientifically speaking (and I’m not going to look this up – I *think* I got this, but feel free to look it up and then gloat if I’m wrong), I believe the ‘tickle response’ of hysterical laughter has to do with pecking order in society, and a little bit to do with a submissive, panic response to what might be considered an overpowering attack. It’s a non-lethal way of establishing a heirarchy in a group, and I *think* there’s even been some research into the use of the tickle response, historically speaking (like, early-man historical).
2. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill themself, would that be considered a hostage situation?
I think it would depend on whether the dominant personality at the time was deemed to be the ‘true’ personality or not – the one with ‘custody’, as it were. That said, it would probably be a wise time to approach with caution (and trained professionals if possible) and treat it as any ‘standard’ suicide attempt, preferably with compassion, understanding and good medical follow-up.
3. Do you have a cherished childhood teddy bear? (If so, what is it, and what’s its name?)
Yes. He’s a pale blue bear, about 30cm tall, with dark blue velvet paws and soles of feet. He was given to me before I was born by family friends. He’s imaginatively called ‘Blue Bear’. He has beautiful blue eyes, and is currently somewhere very safe in a box.
K2’s Questions (she was very kind and decided to let me pick any three of the questions I posed to the co-hosts, as this seemed only fair)
1. What do you like about the Ten Things of Thankful hop?
Let’s get this clear – I don’t ‘like’ the TToT hop – I *LOVE* it – not because of it, but because of the people who engage with it week after week; the new people who rock up and join in; the way the weekend explodes into a melee of positivity, gorgeousness and community-building.
The attitude it engenders/nurtures/demands is also pretty awesomerockin’. It’s easy to come up with Ten Things when life’s being kind, but when life’s being cruel, that’s when the attitude gets working for the individual, but it needs building, strengthening and practicing. And that’s why we’re here.
2. Which people inspire you?
3. How would you like to inspire others?
I’d love them to join in the hop and start Seeking Good. Having an attitude which enables the owner to combat the challenges of day-to-day life with, if not a smile, at least a smidgen of positivity or balance, is an inspiring and attractive thing. I’d love to create a ripple effect from here, so that the attitude rubs off on others and in turn enables them.
1. What’s been the proudest moment of your life?
I really couldn’t say. I don’t have a degree. I haven’t started a dream job. I’m not accomplished in any way, academically or otherwise. I got married and have a wonderful, wonderful family, but they aren’t really things I’ve ‘done’ and can be proud of.
I haven’t really done anything of note. My life seems to be a list of mundane-on-the-outside challenge-conquering exercises. I can think of absolutely no moment* in my life which was worthy of being proud in an ‘achieve-y’ sense.
But I have perseverence, stoicism (sometimes), strength of character and a will which rarely quits. I don’t know how much of that is consciously ‘me’, how much of it is stubbornness, and how much of it is just who I am (another thing I can’t claim credit for). But I’m fiercely loyal, I rarely give up on a person, and I will go to long, long lengths for the people I love.
It’s not a moment; it’s an ongoing, but I think it’s worth feeling pleased about.
*I know I’ve done some good writing-y things, like the Ten Things of Thankful hop, this blog, and my contribution to the book ‘Sunshine After the Storm‘, but I don’t see them as pinnacles of achievement to find pride in – they’re little glitterbombs of loveliness along the way, though.
2. What is a realistic thing you’d like to change about yourself?
Personal – I have a nasty habit of, somehow, when I get caught up in my own hilarious genius, forgetting that the people I play pranks on or goad, are Actual Real People With Feelings. It’s pretty disgusting. It happens with sufficient frequency that I’m aware of it being a Thing I Need To Change.
Physical – Just this week I began a 30 day squat challenge, inspired by The Running Mama, with the support, encouragement and co-accountability of Alyson from The Shitastrophy. The
regime challenge looks gruelling (50 squats on day one, working up to 250 on day 30), but I’ve made a tick-chart, got my brain in the right space, and have done well so far (bearing in mind I’m about 3 days in at this point). I’m also finding that, whilst in the mood for doing reps of squats, it’s not too hard to add in a few sit-ups and press-ups. Alyson and I are competing our way to better behinds, and if either of us get a heinie as good as the girl in the picture chez Running Mama, we will be awarded the title ‘Queen Of Everything’ for one month. It’s a good deal.
3. How do you feel when people suck at being thankful?
It depends. When they’re not thankful for the blessings in their lives, I just think it’s kind of a shame – there are so many Good Things we all enjoy, and so many people who lack even the most basic of these things. Not noticing, not realising, or being blind to your own blessings can render a person whingey, I know that well, because I often forget to be thankful.
But when people “suck” (and, in this case, I’ll take it to mean ‘are actively ungrateful’) for their children, it hurts really deeply. On many different levels. I know too much on the subject, from several angles, and it makes me want to cry. It also lends poignancy to a joke phrase Husby once found somewhere on the internet “It’s not kidnap – it’s surprise adoption.” – sometimes it’s hard to think kind thoughts towards these people.
BUT I must always bear in mind that I only know what I see, and usually don’t know enough of their story to treat them or view them without giving them the benefit of the doubt.
(Now a generously-submitted extra, because I complained about not being able to answer the others well without winging (and you’ll notice it didn’t really stop me winging) – thanks Kristi)
4. When was the last time you laughed so hard you had to catch your breath?
When Husby linked me to this video – partly because it’s freakin’ HILARIOUS, and partly because I yearn to have a dinosaur suit like that (and yes, I yearn to the point of having researched, and at $9000 a pop, I’m gonna keep yearning):
Clark’s questions (with original formatting, just so’s he can be different on this list, too)
A) If you had to have (or chose to have) a sit-down Dinner Party but you could only invite 5 Guests, who would they be?
Hypothetically speaking, if I were hosting a sit-down Dinner Party, it would need to be in a Special Place (not my own) and, in all likelihood, be catered for – not because I’m not a good cook (I am) – but because I’ve seen too many episodes of ‘Come Dine With Me’ to know that it would end anything but badly.
The guests though – ahhh, the guests. I know precisely (though it’s painful to narrow it to five) who I’d invite; because I’d want to turn our Wakefield Doctrine Video Brunches into real ones – where we could all break bread together and chat into the wee hours, regaling one another with tales of clarks, scotts and rogers we’ve known, and the astonishing capacity of the human beast to operate in ways which are simultaneously novel yet categorisable.
So it would definitely have to consist of your good self, Michelle, Denise, Shanique and Dyanne…and then (because I’m not *really* going to pay any attention to your rules of the question) I’ll stretch ‘Dinner Party’ into That Picnic We Keep On About, and request the presence of (as yet non VB participants) Kristi, Christine and Melissa.
2) Have you ever had the experience of Lucid Dreaming? (to become aware of your waking self while remaining in full dream state) (Optional question: what do you enjoy doing in said state?)
Whilst my dreams tend to be very vivid and full of sensory input (bright colours, scents, textures, sounds – no tastes as yet (to my recollection)) I’ve rarely had a full-on Lucid dream, but the ones where I have, have tended to remain part of the overall narrative of the dream, and involve my being able to make decisions based on my knowledge that it’s only a dream.
This often proves to be less useful than I hope, as the self which is dreaming makes the decision based on the knowledge of the self which knows it’s dreaming (especially when that second self has dreamed this dream before and knows how it turned out last time, and wants an alternate ending) and things tend to wind up confused and ‘unfinished’ somehow. I tend to wake rather badly from any such dream, and spend time in a fuddled state.
I did have the most peculiar ‘nested’ dream, which had the opposite effect upon me, and when I awoke from it, I wasn’t sure that I was awake. I’ve probably blogged about it before, but for argument’s sake, I’ll reiterate.
I was lying in bed taking a nap (really)
I was lying in bed taking a nap and I woke up choking (dreamly)
A friend had been staying with us (really)
That friend walked past the bed on the way to the bathroom (our old flat had a weird layout) and I looked towards her, imploring her to notice my distress, but unable to speak or breathe (dreamly)
Then I woke up, choking, with no-one around to help me, and was unable to get up or move (dreamly)
Then I woke up, choking, and my Mum was standing at the foot of the bed, watching me struggle, standing still and silent, but then her body blurred into hot pink lines and I woke up choking (dreamly)
Then, still choking, I remember twisting the bed-covers in my hands, trying to reach the edge of the bed, feeling as though I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen (dreamly)
Then I woke up choking, alone, in the room, hearing the voices of Husby and my friend in the next room (dreamly)
Then I woke up with a lump in my throat, got up and walked out of the bedroom, reverse-hallucinating that the drying-up had been put away on my way through the kitchen to the living room (really)
I sat in the living room on the sofa, knees drawn up and arms wrapped around them, shaking, as I explained the dream (really)
I later walked back through the kitchen to discover the drying up left, as it had been, before my nap (really)
C) If your future self (from 2023) called you tonight but you were busy writing a Post and the call went right to your answering machine but you (future self) left you (present self) a message, what do you think she would say?
[*Click* “Please leave your message after the tone – BEEEEEP”]
“Hey there, it’s you – but from the future – 2013, in fact. I just wanted to let you know that you’re still here. Keep Seeking Good. Keep Telling Truths. Keep Thinking. Keep praying. Remain a loyal friend and a Good Wife. And remember – it will all be alright in the end; and if it is not alright, then it is not yet the end. Onwards and upwards!”
I’m a firm believer that throughout my life I’m far, FAR better off not having known the future, or else there may well have come a point where I just didn’t get out of bed any more. Today has enough worries, and the worries of tomorrow can take care of themselves. In the meantime, my current (and I hope, ongoing) challenge is to Do Good Today.
1. If Hollywood were making a movie about your life, what would it be called, and which actors would you cast as yourself and Husby?
Well, fortunately, the toughest half of the question (who would get the honour of playing my role) has already been decided – over here – and I’m still gonna go with Anna Kendrick, for the reasons listed there. I think I’d have to do a reverse-irony and pick Jack Black for Husby (you can imagine JB with an Irish accent, right?) because he’s older than AK, and in real life, Husby’s younger than I am. And younger than my little sister…which is creepy whenever I stop to think about it! But Jack Black makes me laugh, as Husby does, and he’s twinkly about the eyes like Husby is 🙂
If it was to be any kind of accurate reflection of my life (and with those two actors, I sincerely hope my screenwriter turns it into some kind of comedy, even of the tragic kind) it would have to be called “Oh crap! Here we go again…“
2. Which Disney Princess would you most like to be, and why?
I decided this only in the last few years, when Disney finally caught up with the real world and made a Princess worth emulating.
Without a doubt or hesitation, I can say that I’d like to be Tiana, from ‘The Princess and The Frog‘. She’s a hard worker, an amazing cook, self-reliant, autonomous, humourous, ballsy, and goes out to make her dreams happen, rather than relying on magic or wishing on a star. She has a massive sense of loyalty to her friends and family, gets on and does what needs doing, and has some awesomerockin’ music to get it all done by. She also gets to follow the ‘Pretty Woman’ line of thinking, and rescues her Prince right back. As I recall, she may even rescue him first!
3. Which five celebrities would be on your ‘freebie’ list of people you could *ahem*…date, and no-one else could get upset about it (As inspired by the Friends episode ‘The One With Frank Jr‘)
I’m pretty sure that all of these people who had a list were boyfriend/girlfriend, rather than having tied the knot. So before I humour you and answer anyway, I’ll just make it plain and clear that there absolutely exists NO SUCH LIST in my marriage. (And also taking into account that I’m pretty sure all of these are in relationships of some kind (cos I don’t ‘follow’ the world of celebs and have little-to-no idea) and said list is rendered doubly inappropriate…you complete minx (oh, I DO know that Heath Leger’s dead…but it’s my list))
Now that’s out of the way – the fun part 😉
Clockwise from top left: Robert Downey Jr, Vin Diesel, Robbie Williams, Heath Ledger, Paul Walker
Sadly Joy was unable to join us for this, as she has so much busy-ness in her life at the moment – but please go and check out her blog anyway 🙂
SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Two NEW TToT co-hosts!
Please welcome Michelle, from Getting Literal, and Zoe from Rewritten, both of whom have agreed to submit their questions prior to their own interviews, so as to be a part of this, the ‘Final, but with a Sting-in-the-tail’ interview. I’m delighted to announce there will now be two further weeks of co-host interviews, as we get to know them both a little better.
1. If you were having a “living or dead” dinner party in which you could invite one deceased person (don’t worry, they don’t have to be a zombie or anything) and one live person (along with a few friends/family)…who would the twosome be?
Dead: Without a doubt, Gerald Durrell – my favourite autobiographist. He wrote a bunch of absolutely smashing books about his childhood in Corfu, his quest to own a zoo, and his transition into being one of the earliest and most dedicated conservationists around. His writing is tender, evocative, hilarious and absolutely wonderful. I hope that he would be the same in person.
Alive: Imma pick someone who’s a ‘Someone’ because there are too many live people (many of them part of the TToT community) who I’d love to meet in real life and break bread with. So I’ll say Ellen DeGeneres, because she’s absolutely, freakin’ HILARIOUS, and I love the way she pranks people, and her attitude to life and her humour and…everything. She’s awesome, and I think that a dinner party with her would be indescribably brilliant.
2. What was the first thing over £100 that you purchased with your own money?
To my shame, whatever-it-is has faded into the mists of time, and I’ve absolutely no idea. It might be my first car. Or my first laptop. Or something really fairly mundane. So I’ll tell you instead about my most expensive purchase to date (discounting my wedding, because that’s not really a ‘thing’ that you buy, but a massive collection of incurred expenses)
I was in an art gallery in Cornwall in…2008, I think…and at the back, displayed in GLORIOUS view, was a painting. A big one. So gorgeous, my whole body clenched. I went and stared at it for ages. Then wandered around the rest of the shop, with it still on my mind. I couldn’t see anything else except the memory of that painting, hanging before my eyes.
I went back and stared more.
I asked the price – £1800
I caught my breath. Looked at the picture some more and left the gallery, with their business card, chatting animatedly with my Mum about how beautiful it was, how much I loved it, and how much I wanted it.
At the time, I’d come into some inheritance money, and also been making some savings for the future, but I wanted this painting to be part of my future.
I determined that we’d continue our walk and tour of the village, and if I could cope with thinking about my life without the painting in it, I’d not go back.
It hung before my eyes the entire way around – the glorious colours reflected in the sea, the sky, the sun, the flowers I saw, the glitter on the waves.
I realised that I’d fallen in love with this painting and really, really needed to be able to buy it.
So Mum and I figured out a way to make it happen, we returned to the gallery, I offered the guy full payment if he could take it down to £1500, which he accepted, and I signed on the dotted line, walking away with my heart in my mouth and my soul singing.
A week or so later, it arrived.
I have NEVER regretted it – each time I pass it (though it hasn’t moved house with me yet, and still hangs in the breakfast room chez Mum’s) I find something new to love. It is the best thing I ever bought.
|‘Tender Heart’ by Devonshire artist, Yvonne Coomber|
3. If you had to leave England and live somewhere else, where would it be?
warm HOT. If I was leaving, I’d have to make sure that I could take a refrigerated room so that Husby would come with me – he finds even warm weather really tough to deal with, but I really struggle with the cold. Rain makes me miserable and the thought of the nights drawing in is horrible.
So I guess, somewhere closer to the equator, where the seasons are warmer and more even, but somewhere dryish, where there aren’t too many rainy days. And I need the beach to be not too far away. And not too big city-ish. Maybe a gorgeous little island, where I could keep chickens and grow my own food, go fishing and live a complete fantasy life with no problems. Kind of like the movie ‘Into the Blue‘, (which was filmed in the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas) but without the drug gangs and being-eaten-by-sharks bit. And in Real Life, without the hurricanes and other assorted Bad Weather, which seems commonplace over in that neck of the woods.
1. What is the essence of Considerings?
To make people read, pause, read again, and think “Damn…!”
It’s all about the Deep Thinking, Truth Telling and Actively Seeking Good. Now with added Community 🙂
2. What makes you tick?
(I had to ask Husby, because I’m stumped)
“Your stubborn, English, Bulldog spirit and refusal to give in, which makes you die-hard; tempered with a Christian ethos”
Long live the Empire! Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (I’m totally kidding!)
(I’m still stumped. I might need to have a crack at this one myself…)
Something which I think affects me deeply is the resilience and beauty of the human spirit, expressed through friendship, words, art, music – getting to understand snippets of people through their creativity, through what they express, through the way they are and the things they hold dear, is a source of endless fascination to me. Probably why I love the Blogosphere so much – y’all are making it easy for me to find out more about you 🙂
3. How do you see yourself 10 years into the future
I’d love to still be writing. It would be amazing to have this blog still on the go, and to come back here at that point, and say “Hey! I did it!”. I’d love to have met a few more of the people I want to meet. I’d love to have deeper relationships with my friends, and have made a whole bunch of new ones. I’d like to still be working. Please God I’ll still have my family around me.
But how do I see myself? Much the same, I hope: smart, funny, with a love for language and a heart for people, and a spirit that won’t quit.
Now that you know a whole HEAP about me (and I must pause to thank my co-hosts for not presenting me with any terrifyingly hard questions), do come back and join us on Saturday for Ten Things of Thankful #15, as well as next week, to learn more about one of our new co-hosts.